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Will Rogers State Beach

We should call it Gay Beach
again, like they did in the seventies
when your mother spent summers

selling sandwiches from a cooler. Hil
and Dale’s made tuna for sun-
kissed men kissing men who poured

out of The Friendship into daylight
hungry and drunk. Ducked below
the echoing underpass lit up like a portal

colored in graffiti and urine. 
Spilled out onto Ginger Rogers
a nickname given to station 18

where West Channel Road meets the Pacific
Coast Highway. You make me your
mother’s recipe, slice apples 

thin as our bedroom curtains 
that spread light each morning, 
useless but romantic. You crack

black pepper over pink salt
and I want a gay beach of our own
where I can kiss you without feeling

the burn of an onlooker.
What would I be 
like if I were someone 

who didn’t care? I might open
our windows and linger 
like sunhaze where storm-

water pools to shoreline, 
where my hand meets the heat 
of your dark hair swimming into mine.

Amanda Maret Scharf (she/her) is a queer poet from Los Angeles. Her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Juked, Third Coast, Meridian, and elsewhere. She is currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Ohio State University where she serves as the poetry co-editor for The Journal. @am_scharf

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